Weekly Academic Success Tip - Make the Most of the Last Two Weeks

Congratulations!  You are about to finish another semester in law school.  Here are some tips to make the most of the last two weeks of classes in preparation for finals:

  • Do not skip classes.  Professors often give information about the exam during the last few classes.  In addition, there is a good chance that there will be questions on the exam specifically on the last week’s material.
  • Attend all review sessions that your professors offer.   Professors provide review sessions to help you do well on the exam.  Whether the session is a professor-led review of the material or based on questions and answers, you can use the session to your advantage.  If you are confused about certain areas, then this is the time to get the material straight.  If you think you understand the material, then this is the time to “test” your depth of understanding. 
  • If there are not scheduled review sessions, ask your professors any questions that you have this week.   Once classes are over, many professors work from home or work in their offices during limited hours.  Yes, you could e-mail or telephone the professor regarding your questions; however, there is no substitute for being there face-to-face. 
  • Try to have all of your reading and outlining completed by April 16.   You want to allow yourself plenty of time for learning your outlines, memorizing black letter law, and applying the concepts through practice questions.  
  • Evaluate your status in each course.   Determine which topics and sub-topics still need to be learned for each course.  Determine which topics and sub-topics just need to be reviewed.  Determine how many practice questions need to be completed for each topic and sub-topic.  Prioritize your studying tasks.  Be realistic.  
  • Map out your plans for each day for the next two weeks.   A monthly calendar format may help you to see when your exams are, when papers are due, when other projects may be due.  Mark down review sessions being held by professors.  For each day, indicate the course(s) you plan to study, the topics or sub-topics for that course, and the hours of study.  
  • Maximize your study time within your plan.   Decide whether you learn better by studying one course all day or by mixing up two or even three courses in the same day.  Decide when you are most alert and place the most difficult tasks (intense learning and memorization for many students) in those time slots.  Use time slots when you are less alert for tasks that you find easier (review of material already learned, practice questions, and flashcards for many students).  
  • Re-check the exam schedule to make sure that you have written the correct days and times down for all of your exams.   Nothing can be more distressing than to find out that you missed an exam because you were not careful enough in noting the dates and times on your calendar.  If in doubt, find out now. 
  • Have a talk with your significant others about the fact that you will be studying for exams and need their understanding.   Have a heart-to-heart with your friends, parents, spouse, children, and any others who need to be cooperative with your efforts.  Schedule needed babysitters now.